The world of employment has been changing for some time – especially in developed nations.  More people work part-time, change jobs frequently and have multiple jobs and ‘portfolio’ careers.

What are the implications for productivity?

One obvious point is that it becomes more important to get people ‘up to speed’ very quickly – what is often these days termed the ‘onboarding process’.  It is imperative that organisations take this process seriously and do all they can to engage employees early and often, giving them the knowledge and skills they need to fill any gaps – but also to motivate them to add maximum value.

Another implication is that retaining knowledge and talent is important – so if the job market is changing, perhaps organisations need to change their practices to reflect this. One approach is to offer employees a ‘tour of duty’ rather than a job – agree with them the outcomes they are to produce over a given project/timescale.  When the tour of duty is complete, they either move on -or agree another tour.  This retains their talent but still gives them the benefits of a portfolio career –  variety of work and experience, and a degree of freedom.

It is possible to move with the times – and win …. but only when you recognise the ‘spirit of the times’  and act accordingly.